The Corporation of the Town of Oakville · Procedure HR-MNG-005-002

Workplace Violence

Procedure Number:
Parent Policy:
Human Resources
Human Resources department
Effective Date:
2010 Jun 01
Review by Date:
Last Modified:
2017 Jan 30

Purpose Statement

This procedure addresses the prevention and investigation of workplace violence, or threats of workplace violence, including domestic violence against an employee.


This procedure applies to town employees, contractors, consultants, and members of the public.


  1. The town does not tolerate, ignore or condone any workplace harassment or violence.
  2. All reported threats or incidents will be considered serious and will be investigated promptly with appropriate action taken.
  3. A review of the risks of workplace violence will be conducted at least once annually or as necessary to protect workers. Identified risks will be promptly addressed and measures implemented to mitigate such risks.
  4. Employees should follow departmental guidelines when working in situations operational specific to their departments (i.e. working alone; handling cash, dealing with difficult customers).
  5. The town will take every reasonable precaution to protect employees from domestic violence where it has been made aware, or where it ought reasonably to have known, an employee is at risk.
  6. Frivolous or vexatious complaints will be dealt with seriously and subject to disciplinary action.

Workplace Harassment

All incidents of workplace harassment will be reported, investigated and resolved through the town’s Respectful Conduct policy HR-MNG-008.

Possibility of Domestic Violence in the Workplace

  1. Any employee who is experiencing domestic violence that exposes him or her to physical injury in the workplace or is experiencing domestic violence in the workplace, or believes that domestic violence in the workplace is likely to occur, should seek immediate assistance from his or her supervisor and/or Human Resources.
  2. A safety plan will be developed by the employee, the supervisor and Human Resources.

Reporting Incidents of Violence

  1. Incidents of violence must be reported immediately to the employees’ supervisor and/or the police for immediate assistance.
  2. If, at any time, an employee feels personally threatened, they are to call the police immediately.  Employees are not to place themselves at risk or jeopardize anyone’s safety when dealing with any perceived or real situation of violence.
  3. Threats of violence or acts of violence by members of the public against employees will be reported through the R Zone procedure HR-MNG-008-001.
  4. All other workplace threats of violence or acts of violence will be addressed under this procedure.
  5. If a workplace violence incident results in a worker being disabled or requiring medical attention, the appropriate joint health and safety committee and the appropriate union must be notified within four days of the incident.
  6. If a workplace violence incident results in a person being critically injured or killed, Health, Safety and Wellness Consultant, the Ministry of Labour, the appropriate joint health and safety committee and the appropriate union must be notified immediately and the Ministry of Labour notified in writing within 48 hours.
  7. Incidents must be filed as soon as practicably possible after the incident occurred using the Respectful Conduct Reporting Form detailing the nature of the incident, dates, times, places, witnesses and names of those involved. Supervisor, employee or witness may complete the report.
  8. All reports of violence must be forwarded to Human Resources. If applicable, an impartial investigation of the incident will be conducted.
  9. There will be no negative consequences for reports made in good faith.

Investigating Incidents of Violence

  1. All other incidents of workplace violence will be investigated by the Health, Safety and Wellness Consultant (or designate) in Human Resources by:
    1. conducting separate interviews with the complainant, the respondent, the Supervisor and any individuals who may be able to provide relevant information;
    2. documenting the interview and having the notes from each discussion read and signed by interviewee to confirm the accuracy;
    3. submitting a written report summarizing the investigation findings forwarded to the Director of Human Resources and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) so that appropriate corrective measures can be taken.
    4. The perpetrator will be subject to a range of corrective action up to and including termination.
  2. Incidents of workplace violence by members of the public against an employee will be investigated and resolved in accordance with the R Zone procedure HR-MNG-008-001.
  3. The Respectful Conduct Reporting Form will be kept confidential to the extent possible.  Information will only be released to the extent necessary to investigate and respond to the incident, or as required by law.
  4. The Respectful Conduct Reporting Form will be on file in the Human Resources department for a minimum of seven years.

General Provisions

Criminal and Sexual Harassment - Criminal and Sexual harassment such as stalking, threats, and sexual or physical assault are covered by the Criminal Code or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  Supervisors and employees are encouraged to report any criminal behaviour to the Police and Human Resources.

Reprisals - No employee will be subject to reprisals for filing a complaint under this policy. Anyone experiencing reprisals should report it immediately to their manager or Human Resources.

Any discipline imposed as a result of a frivolous or vexatious complaint is not a reprisal.


Workplace Harassment – includes a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace - behaviour that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.  It may include but is not limited to:

Workplace harassment does not include:

Violence - includes attempting to, or exercising, physical force by a person against an employee in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury; or a statement or behaviour that that is reasonably interpreted as a threat to exercise physical force that could cause physical injury to an employee.

Domestic Violence - includes a person who has a personal relationship with a worker - such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner or a family member – who may physically harm, threaten or attempt to physically harm, that worker while at work.

Workplace - includes the working environment and any place employment-related activities are conducted including business travel, work-related social gatherings or any other location that may have a subsequent impact on the workplace.



Immediate Managers/Supervisors:

Human Resources:

Joint Health and Safety Committee: